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Hello Dolly...

Remember Dolly the sheep?

Anyway, here she is in all her ovine glory:
She is, so to speak, a current issue as my mates at eurobarometer decided that the Eurocrats and the like neeed to know how Euroman and woman feel about eating etc meat from cloned animals. As long as it is tasty, it is fine by me.

Anyway, the findings:

81% of those polled claim to know what animal cloning is. The remainder know the term but do not know what it means or have never heard of the concept. We Britons fared better than most, with 86% knowing it means 'making an identical copy of an existing animal'. Dunce's cap for Latvia at 60%. Mind you, asked whether cloning 'involves genetic modification', less than a third of British respondents knew that it did not. Danes and Latvians topped and tailed the results.

Asked whether cloning animals was morally wrong, we were alone in thinking otherwise - 46% yes, 48% no. The Austrians and Slovenes were the most concerned at 79% and 76%. Must be something to do with the air in the Julian Alps, maybe.

As to whether 'Animal cloning will cause animals unnecessary pain, suffering and distress', our Latvian and Maltese chums were the most convinced (60%), with only us, the French, Danes and Dutch scoring 50% for the reverse proposition. Wonder if the sentimentalists feel the same way about shearing and dunking in the sheep dip, let alone ritual slaughter?

Cloning rare species wins the greatest favour with 67% favouring it to a greater or lesser degree, while doing so 'to improve the robustness of animals against diseases' gets 57% approval. Who are the real animal lovers, eh? The UK figures are 74% and 68%. The Austrians lead for squeamishness at 57% and 41%.

Given that most of us eat meat, I do wonder how many actually know how the process works, given the responses to this statement: "Using cloning for food production isn't acceptable, as it would treat animals as commodities rather then as creatures with feelings". Erm....

84% of Austrians will be shunning their Wiener Schnitzel on that basis, while we find it the least problematic at 62%. Spaniards and Czechs share - take your pick - first or last place with us.

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